English is more than a language.It is a Technology which we must master to compete in the present globalized world and ‘writing’ plays an important role here.Besides, among the four skills, writing is the most difficult and most important skill not only in the academic sector but also in a professional field which requires accuracy and a standard level of writing.Writing is one of the most productive skills.For a second language learner , it is so important to learn how to write in the target language that without knowing it,learning that language is an incomplete effort.According to Anita Pincas,the author of "Writing English"(1982) writing is an instrument of both communication and self-expression.Most people,however especially when writing in a foreign language or second language use it primarily to communicate with other members of their own community or the wider world.

Writing is the most difficult skill because it takes continuous effort along with rigorous practice to reach a standard level.It involves a lot of techniques and skills which one acquires with conscious effort.As writing is a productive skill,one has to be familiar with many things such as different genres,formal or informal language, etc.So developing writing skill involves some more sub skills which make it more difficult to acquire.Bell and Burnaby (1984) point out that writing is an extremely complex cognitive activity in which the writer is required to demonstrate control of a number of variables simultaneously.A writer has to take care so that his sentences express intended meaning clearly ,correctly and effectively.For this reason,the knowledge of probable errors in writing and their causes are essential.So learning to write expressively is the most difficult of the skills for all language users regardless of first,second or foreign.

It is really  important to teach writing as it is generally more difficult to learn how to write than how to speak.As we see that children in every language automatically learn to speak gradually as they are exposed to the particular linguistic environment ,but learning to write takes a more conscious effort.To be proficient in writing in a second language in a matter of long practice.International Teacher Trainer Jeremy Harmar in his book "How to teach English" (1998:79) opines that the reasons for teaching writing to the students English as a foreign language include reinforcement,language development ,learning style and most importantly development of writing as a skill in its own right.

Writing is important because usually in examinations,the examinees are evaluated on the basis of their writing performance.Students exhibit their depth of knowledge through writing and they are assessed by their competence in writing rather than speaking.As a result,students who are not competent in writing skill do not get good marks in English or they fail in English.Similarly,students having a good command in writing skill usually get higher marks or can face the challenge of writing on any topic in the examination.Apart from this,writing has a far reaching impact on practical life as it is required in real life situations.Therefore,it is really important for learners of any language to learn how to write.

Many students are fluent in speaking,but they are not skilled in writing,Here it is mentionable that English is introduced in Bangladesh at the primary level and its teaching continues till the tertiary level.Even then,learners in Bangladesh still find formal writing troublesome.The same common errors which they make during early school reoccur even at college level.Therefore it requires further investigation why after ten years of formal instruction in English learners fail to develop their writing skill.

Apart from the academic importance,writing skill has a great significance in real life situations.Lack of competence in this skill leads to communication problems in real life as writing is sometimes extremely important or the only media to communicate.Since many students enter higher study after the HSC,they need to have a good command English particularly in writing skill as they have to take examinations in English.A sound competence in writing skill is sometimes mandatory in some professions.Therefore,
students should be given opportunities in class to practice those types of writing that they need in the real world beyond the boundary of the classroom.Hommond (1989 in Nunan,1991) opines that young writers and readers should have orientation towards different types of texts.

Writing should have been taught communicatively.In this connection it is  relevant to mention that in 1996 the communicative approach was introduced in classes six,seven and eight and in 2001 the communicative approach was introduced from vlass six to class twelve.The communicative approach is basically concerned with the development of communicative competence of students in English through the practice of the four skills,listening ,speaking ,reading, and writing.So,writing should be taught in a communicative way.Teachers should encourage and help students to overcome fear and anxiety in writing.Students should be encourage to write in pairs or groups,so that they can correct each other and hence learn better.

Even today,writing is taught in a very traditional way in our institutions.Almost all the teachers want writing from students as a product.They hardly go through the process oriented way,In fact writing is mysteriously neglected at the higher secondary level.Sultana (2007-08) remarks that teachers usually make students write on a given topic and correct the product , i.e. the compositions,identifying errors in grammar ,spelling sentence structures and vocabulary selection.However,this does not necessarily help students to develop the writing skill and ultimately this system fails to lead students to a higher level of competence.

Teaching writing is extremely neglected at the higher secondary level.Although only writing skill is tested in the HSC examination,there is no congenial atmosphere for the development of writing in the classroom.Students lack motivation and teachers fail to create that in them.On the other hand,some students want to learn how to write but teachers lack the efficiency to teach writing with the necessary techniques.It is because of the lack of training.Since there is no proper guidance for teaching writing,students feel reluctance and negligence is the poor score in English in the HSC examination.Although writing skill is judged in the examination,the system is not conducive enough to help learners in developing their creative faculty to write.The testing system indirectly compels learners to memorize.

Although,it is very essential for learners to grow their creativity to face the challenges of these highly competitive days,neither the board of education nor the institutions take any initiative for that.Our institutions are still following the traditional ways of teaching .Consequently,this results in learners weakness in the writing skill.Student low motivation results from teachers inability to teach effectively.At the same time,lack of training , inadequate remuneration , adverse environment have a negative impact on teachers.In spite of all the drawbacks,we,the teachers should leave no stone un-turned  to teach our students how to develop writing skill as we have shouldered the responsibility.

Work Cited:

  • Harmar J. 1998 How to teach writing.London:Longman

  • Hatch E. 1992 Discourse and Language Education.New York:Cambridge University Press

  • Jordan, R.R 1997 English for Academy Purposes: A guide & resource book for teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Keh,C.I. 1996 Feedback in the writing process:A model & method for implementation,in Hedge,T. and Whitney N.(eds) Power Practice and Pedagogy Oxford: Oxford University Press: 271-282

  • Pincas A. 1982 writing in English.London: Macmillan.

  • White,R. Arndt V. 1991.Process writing.Londo:Longman.